Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Santosh Mohan Dev passed away on Wednesday. The 86-year-old politician died at a hospital in Silchar, Assam this morning, following a prolonged illness, PTI reported today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, saying his thoughts were with the family and supporters of Santosh Mohan Dev in this hour of grief.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi expressed grief over the passing away of the senior party leader. “His immense contribution to build the party in the Northeast, right from the grassroots level would always be remembered,” she said in a statement. “Nothing could have prepared me for this moment. I lost him at 6.06 am today. Thank you, everyone, for your prayers, your love for him,” Dev’s daughter and MP from Silchar Sushmita tweeted.
Here is all you need to know about Santosh Mohan Dev
In a political career spanning five decades, Dev handled numerous crucial political assignments in the Congress and in government. Dev was Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise in the first UPA government led by Dr Manmohan Singh. In 1991, he was also the Union Minister of State for Steel (Independent Charge), before which he was the Chairman of Public Accounts Committee for a year. Dev also held positions of the Chairman of Committee on Energy, Member of House Committee and Member of General Purposes Committee.
Dev was elected to the Lok Sabha seven times since 1980 — five times from Silchar and twice from Tripura. Dev was one of the few politicians to be elected to Parliament from two different states.
Apart from being a noted politician, Dev was also a popular sports events organiser.
Dev is survived by his former legislator wife Bithika Dev and four daughters, including Congress MP from Silchar Sushmita. He was ailing for long and admitted recently to a private hospital after he developed pneumonia. Dev’s wife, Bithika Dev, was a Member of the state legislative assembly of Assam from his home constituency of Silchar till May, 2011.
He was the eldest son of the renowned Bengali North Eastern Freedom Fighter Satindra Mohan Dev. Educated at GC college in Silchar, Dev did his MBA from Welsh College in Cardiff, UK.